Pacific Power to greet Washington customers with lower bills in 2021, rate stability to 2024 and big step in clean energy transition

December 16, 2020

YAKIMA, Wash. — More than 130,000 Pacific Power customers in central and eastern Washington will see their electric bills go down an average of 1.2 percent under a decision issued Dec. 14 by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission that approved an all-party settlement proposal filed July 17.

“Pacific Power’s top priority during this uncertain time is to keep prices low while providing Washington customers with safe and reliable electricity and supporting their desire for more clean energy to power their homes and businesses,” said Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power. “We’re proud to have worked with our stakeholders in Washington to deliver on all those priorities during a time when low-cost and long-term stability is especially important.”

The decision, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2021 provides rate stability for customers through a commitment from Pacific Power to not file another general rate case before 2023. Other highlights of the settlement include:

  • Accelerated pass-through of remaining federal tax savings related to the 2017 tax reduction act over five years
  • Nearly doubling the amount of low-cost wind generation serving Washington customers beginning January 2021
  • Accelerating depreciation of coal plant investments to remove coal from Washington customer rates by 2025
  • Creation of a low income advisory committee to continue development of programs and policies to assist low income customers. Issues to be addressed include examining assistance programs and efforts to reduce service disconnections
  • A new, flattened rate structure that equitably allocates costs among energy users

Under the decision, a typical residential customer’s electricity bill will decrease a small amount in 2021. An average residential customer using 1,200 kilowatt-hours will see a decrease of $0.55, for a monthly bill of $103.81. Rates will differ depending on customer type.

“This was the first general rate case Pacific Power has filed in Washington since 2014,” Bird continued. “We are pledging to not file another case until 2023 with new rates not taking effect until 2024. We are delivering this high level of stability by operating prudently and efficiently, but also without compromising on our vision and values. We have managed to keep rates among the lowest in the nation while investing in Washington and our integrated Western energy system to modernize streetlights, repower existing wind power production, acquire new wind and solar generation, modernize and build new transmission to get the power where it needs to go. In addition, we are supporting the ongoing growth and success of a new western energy market that we pioneered to lower customer costs, maximize renewable energy and enhance reliability.”